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October 29, 2013

Updated Apple Map Sparks Controversy in Taiwan

by Colin Lovett, Paris Huang

Not everyone has welcomed the release of Apple’s new operating system. In Taiwan, a change to the system's map program is a cause for concern.
 
The new version of Apple's updated map program is generating controversy in Taiwan, where politicians are angry that it refers to the island as a Chinese province.
 
Joseph Wu, a member of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party and Taiwan's former representative to the U.S., told VOA that Apple made a mistake that needs to be corrected immediately.
 
“I think this is a serious matter, because Apple [products are]… used internationally, and when Taiwan users see while using Apple Map, [that Taiwan] is a province of China, or part of China, of course it is a great damage to Taiwan," said Wu.
 
The government in Taipei has said it too is concerned by the new map and is expressing its displeasure with Apple.
 
Kelly Hsieh of Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs told VOA that Taipei is also upset that Apple used the simplified Chinese characters used on the mainland instead of the traditional characters favored on the island.
 
"Thus we instructed our foreign branches to act right away, to express our high dissatisfaction, ask them to correct it immediately. Right now we are still negotiating. We will make every effort. We cannot compromise about this kind of matter,” said Hsieh.
 
Apple did not respond to VOA's request for comment.
 
The new maps are part of new mobile and desktop updates to Apple's operating systems.
 
Taiwan, which has been split from mainland China since 1949, calls itself the Republic of China. Beijing regards the island as a renegade province that is still part of mainland China.